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Counter terrorism ـ  Reinforcing the global nuclear security architecture
Counter terrorism ـ  Reinforcing the global nuclear security architecture

Aug 13, 2022 | studies

High level event: Reinforcing the global nuclear security architecture: Universalization of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) – On 3 August 2022, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the European Union (EU)held a high-level side event on the margins of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York. The overarching theme of the event “Reinforcing the global nuclear security architecture: Universalization of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT)” brought together high-level speakers from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and over 230 participants, both in person and online, to share perspectives on promoting adherence to the Convention.

Referring to ICSANT as a tool to combat the threats posed by nuclear terrorism, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, stressedPDF that “universal adherence to this key legal instrument remains an essential goal. It facilitates international cooperation, including the exchange of information on nuclear security threats, prosecution and extradition of suspects.”  Ms. Marjolijn van Deelen, European Union Special Envoy for Non-proliferation and Disarmament highlighted the multilateral security partnership between the European Union and the United Nations and stated “All States and all of us, we have a shared responsibility to uphold nuclear security starting with the legal basis. Peace and stability require a collective effort and the EU stands ready to help partners to strengthen global non-proliferation and disarmament efforts and thus nuclear terrorism risks.“

The panelists acknowledged that nuclear and other radioactive materials cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of terrorists, and recognized ICSANT and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment as key legally binding instruments that deter nuclear terrorism.Highlighting the common approaches to counter the threat of nuclear terrorism, the panelists also recognized that a strong international legal framework represents a basis for cooperation and assistance, and reaffirmed the availability of their offices to support Member States in their effective implementation of ICSANT. In the last session of the event, Iraq, Tajikistan, the Russian Federation and the United States of America shared their Member States’ perspectives and expressed continuous commitment to the universalization of ICSANT.


This event was part of the global project on Promoting Universalization and Effective Implementation of ICSANT, funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by UNCCT and UNODC. ICSANT was adopted in 2005 by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force in 2007 and currently has 119 Parties. The project supports requesting Member States in capacity building to strengthen legal frameworks and enhance nuclear security. It also seeks to enhance appreciation of the importance of ratification and encourage effective implementation of the Convention.

More specifically, the UNCCT-led components of the project include:

  1. National advocacy events with Parliamentarians, relevant Ministries and national entities
  2. Regional workshops on border nuclear security
  3. A Global Academic Study on the reasons and challenges for non-adherence to ICSANT
  4. A Global High-Level Conference at the United Nations Headquarters

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